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5 days in French Riviera in February - itinerary help

5 days in French Riviera in February - itinerary help

Old Aug 15th, 2011, 08:20 AM
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5 days in French Riviera in February - itinerary help

I have an opportunity coming up to go to Europe for the first time in February 2012, flying into Nice on Sunday, February 19, and flying out on Saturday, February 25. I just started the initial research but need some suggestions about where to go for the five days. I really don't want to rent a car and drive (I will be spending the week prior in Singapore for business and will have jet lag), so good public transportation to/in the city or walkability is a must. Right now I am thinking using Nice as base to spend the nights, and sightseeing one day in Nice, one day in Monte Carlo, one in Villefranche, and maybe one in St. Tropez (although I am a little worried about getting seasick on the ferry ride). Does this sound doable? Any other places I should add? My main interests are looking at architecture and sailboats, going to history museums, walking through farmers markets.
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Old Aug 15th, 2011, 09:38 AM
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You can reach Saint-Tropez by bus from the St raphael train station - I believe the station but at least the town.

the train line along the coast is a great way to get around - such neat places as Cannes, Antibes (wonderful old-world town with a Picasso Museum in an old seaside fort), Monaco, Villefranche, etc.

There are lots of buses going to iconic hilltowns such at St=Paul-de Vence - a great old hilltown and also with the famoush Maeght (sp?) Foundation art and sculpture museum on its periperhy.

For a great walk head to the Cap d'Ail train station and head down to the sea and hang a left on the paved flat footpath and walk a few miles to Monaco.
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Old Aug 15th, 2011, 12:02 PM
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Saint-tropez would not be my idea place to visit in February when it is sill far too cool to swim and the town will be mainly full of troiseme agers - senior citizens - the town itself is nice but IMO there are far nicer more interesting towns that are much easier to reach from Nice and much closer - like Grasse (home of perfune industry - tour the various Perfume Factories), Antibes, St-Paul-du-Vence (de?), Vence, Eze (high up on a corniche road - lots of buses from both Nice and Monaco - stirling views from a high up perch and a nice old village - Menton and if you want a taste of Italy ride the commuter train to Ventimiglia, a seaside town that is Italian thru and thru (no surprise because it is in Italy - but a short train ride from Nice on the commuter train line that hugs the coast most of the way between St Raphael and Ventimgilia - there are some stunning views from the train as it goes east from Nice (sit on the right side when going east).
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Old Aug 16th, 2011, 11:35 AM
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The best way would be to look at www.Myfrenchrivieravacation.com. They offer special "On Your Own But Not Alone" vacations from mid-February through mid-March.
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Old Aug 17th, 2011, 05:47 AM
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Wonderful Oscar, I think you will be in Nice during Carnival which is a great time for festivities, parades and lots of good food. Check out their websites so that you can get the dates of specific events, such as the Battle of the Flowers parade. It's a little cool in Nice in Feb so be sure to take a light to medium jacket and a scarf.

It is a good time to get a great price on an apartment if you prefer an apt over a hotel room. But whichever, you want to make your reservations as soon as possible since Carnival brings lots of people to Nice. Try Ownersdirect.com and Nicepebbles.com to start looking at apartments. Other posters here will have some other suggestions as well.

Base yourself in town near the train station and everything will be convenient by foot. You'll have public transportation to everything you want to see. Nice has a terrific open air/flea market on Mondays with antiques and tons of beautiful flowers - Cours Salaya. Consider day trips to Ventimiglia, Antibes and Eze. There is a boat tour that takes you from Cannes to Monaco (get there by bus from Nice). Picks you up around 9:30 and gets you back by 6. It's a good day trip to see the entire coastline although a lot of people here don't think there's enough in Monaco to warrant a day trip.

So get yourself a guidebook on the Cote d'Azure and see all that there will be for you to choose from. Enjoy your trip.
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Old Aug 17th, 2011, 06:52 AM
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In Nice don't miss the Chagall Museum and Matisse Museum. (Others can best advise how to reach them on public transportation.)
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Old Aug 17th, 2011, 10:05 AM
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those museums are at Cimiez, right - a suburb of Nice perched high above it with astounding views over the coast and there is also an ancient Roman theatre there as well.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2011, 11:30 AM
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Thank you everybody for the suggestions. It looks like there will be enough places to go between Cannes and Menton without going all the way to Saint-Tropez. I just made hotel reservation and am looking forward to the February trip.
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Old Sep 26th, 2011, 12:21 PM
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http://www.ter-sncf.com/Regions/paca...s/Default.aspx Is there an English version of this website for regional train service? I am trying to find out if there a weekly pass option.
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Old Sep 26th, 2011, 12:26 PM
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I used babelfish but couldn't find the info.
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Old Sep 26th, 2011, 12:41 PM
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I don't see an English option, but there's a Hebdo (short for hebdomadaire - weekly) pass. You can charge it up online, too!

http://www.ter-sncf.com/Regions/paca...cr=KR08&mode=1
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Old Sep 26th, 2011, 12:44 PM
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Thank you, StCirq!
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Old Oct 31st, 2011, 12:26 PM
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I looked into the Cannes to Monaco boat ride (recommended by CYESQ) but I think it is not operating during the winter. An alternative that I am looking into is the ferry ride from Cannes to Sainte Marguerite Island (loved "The Man in the Iron Mask" book). I am wondering how is this ferry ride in February? Since it is going out to sea (one hour ride) versus hugging the coastline, will there be choppy waters, or is it fairly calm that time of the year? I am still recovering from boat ride to the Great Barrier Reef during a rainstorm.
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Old Oct 31st, 2011, 01:05 PM
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You can check out www.best-hotels-sites.com , my preferred hotel's search website, works for me. Very detailed and a lots of reviews.
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Old Nov 11th, 2011, 01:00 PM
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A friend and my aunt decided to join me in Nice so we can save on hotel expenses, and since my own itinerary only focus on towns that are on the train route, the two of them would like to take a day tour of villages that are more interior to see medieval architecture (St Paul de Vence, etc.). They do not speak any French, so would taking the public bus be a good idea? Or should they book a group tour for the day (if yes, any tour company that you would recommend that operates out of Nice in February)?
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Old Feb 26th, 2012, 04:54 AM
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Just got back from my trip. The ferry ride to Sainte Marguerite Island was very smooth. The water was not choppy at all.
My friend went to Entrevaux by herself for one day and she does not speak any French. She had some trouble communicating with the locals there when at the restaurant for lunch, as none spoke any English, but overall was manageable.
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Old Feb 26th, 2012, 07:20 AM
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Well, it's France. The expectation is that they speak French, whether you do or not. Glad to hear it worked out and the ferry ride was enjoyable.
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